'Shadow and Bone': Which of Leigh Bardugo's Books is The Netflix Show Based On?

Shadow and Bone is streaming now on Netflix, meaning fans are finally able to see their beloved Grishaverse brought to life. Those viewers get a double dose of the world from the first season of the show, which combines elements of two different series from fantasy author Leigh Bardugo.

The Netflix show takes its title from the first book of the Grisha trilogy, Shadow and Bone. It also adds in characters and ideas from her Six of Crows book. This novel took place years after the events of Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising, but the series intertwines the two worlds.

"Eric [Heisserer, the showrunner] wanted to do that from moment one," Bardugo told Winter is Coming. "In our first meeting we talked about that, and I loved the idea. I wanted the world to feel big from moment one, and we understood that if we were lucky enough to continue the story, we needed to introduce these characters early on to make it possible for that to happen."

She continued: "Shadow and Bone is very much a classic chosen one story, and Six of Crows is not. Six of Crows is a heist story but it's also a story about people who don't have grand destinies, royal blood, great magical power...To me, bringing those two perspectives together in that first moment was much more powerful. It throws Alina's journey and Ravka's status as this isolated country into much sharper relief."

shadow and bone books
Ben Barnes' character in 'Shadow and Bone' does not get a name until the third book. Netflix

Though the show takes characters from Six of Crows, like Kaz Brekker (played by Freddy Carter), we see them before the events of that book, whose plot is rumored to be the basis of any potential Season 2.

This gives fans an insight into how the characters of Six of Crows became the people they are. In Episode 2 of Shadow and Bone, we see Inej Ghafa (Amita Suman) hesitate in taking a life, whereas the killings in the rest of the episodes leave her much more cold-blooded a killer by the time of the events of the book. This also explains why Six of Crows character Wylan Van Eck has not appeared yet. As the author tweeted, "I know there's been a lot of speculation, but Wylan is not in season 1. The Crows haven't met him yet."

Though the majority of the action and characters come from Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows, some details from later books have also been included. We get General Kirigan's (Ben Barnes) name in the first set of episodes, for example, while in the books this was withheld until Ruin and Rising.

The series is also able to expand the world because it is not all told in first person from the perspective of Alina (Jessie Mei Li). For example, we get to see Mal's (Cody Molko) journey rather than just have him tell it to Alina.

Critics of the show have also noted that the show improves on one element they saw in the book. As an NBC News review of the show put it: "This Netflix adaptation sets about improving on the source material's tired, sexist clichés at every turn, creating a lead character worthy of her own adventure series...this Alina is no passive narrator buffered about by fate, and she doesn't stand around while men puff their chests at each other over her. At every turn, she makes choices that steer her own story."

Shadow and Bone is streaming now on Netflix.